A Guide to Replacing Consumables

Discover essential jeweler's tools and supplies requiring regular inspection and replacement for optimal performance.

A Guide to Replacing Consumables

Every jeweler has likely been there before — settled at your workspace, fully in the zone of whatever job might be at your bench, and suddenly, your tools or materials aren’t performing like they used to. It’s a crucial part of any jeweler’s process that often gets overlooked — and that is keeping up with the lifespan of your most used essentials. These tools and materials get you through any job and help create beautiful, finished pieces, but have you ever wondered which items are due for replacement?

At Stuller, we know the significance of maintaining your tools and materials for top-notch bench performance — it’s a small habit that makes a big difference in your output and quality while also reducing any last-minute stressors that break your focus. Our experts have gathered a list of a bench jeweler’s most used tools and supplies that should be regularly inspected for upkeep or replacement — let’s dive in.

Supply Lifespans and Quality

While every daily item in your lineup may have different requirements for proper replacement, many of them should offer telling signs of wear and tear to the natural eye — the best practice is to keep an eye on your most-used tools and supplies to catch any quality issues before it’s too late.

What To Replace and When

What To Replace and When

Supplies and Consumables

1. Burs

An essential at any jeweler’s bench, burs are often repeatedly used for cutting seats, shaping shanks, and more. So when should you replace them? According to one of our master stone setters, Kristi Broussard, burs should be replaced at the sign of any significant wear and tear to the “teeth” — without replacement, worn-out burs could severely affect precision.

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2. Polishing Brushes

From detail work to overall finishing, polishing brushes are a staple at every jeweler’s bench and come in various materials for different needs and jobs. If you’ve ever noticed your brush bristles starting to flare or not performing as smoothly, consider switching them out for a new set, our experts say.

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3. Mandrels

Generally, your ring mandrels are designed to withstand all of your shaping, resizing, and measuring needs, but over time — especially if it is often exposed to hammering or made from a softer material, like wood — you might find them losing accuracy. As a general rule, it is best to have more than one ring mandrel on hand, and if any are showing signs of significant wear, damage, or missing markings, a replacement is suggested.

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The following list contains additional supplies and consumables that every jeweler should inspect or consider for replacement as needed:


Hand Tools

1. Stone Gauges

For jewelers regularly working with gemstones, stone gauges are crucial hand tools for measuring each stone accurately. To keep them precise, experts recommend using small, machine-cut Cubic Zirconia for regular checks, replacing them every few months and the gauges annually, adjusting depending on usage. Gauges used mostly for diamonds may need more frequent replacement due to diamond wear on the metal, leading to inaccurate readings.

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2. Solder Picks

Solder picks offer precise movement and placement of solder, but with direct contact to extreme heat, you may need to keep an eye on these items more frequently to ensure their effectiveness by replacing them when necessary. A pro tip? Titanium or tungsten picks are recommended for better solder resistance, ensuring cleaner results and durable finished pieces.

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3. Pliers

Flat nose, round nose, nylon jaw, bent nose — pliers are considered a must-have at any jeweler's workstation, serving a variety of purposes from chain or component work to gem setting. Some say they are the first and last tool most jewelers are likely to see when arriving and leaving the bench, making it crucial to watch for any damage to these essential items. While most pliers can withstand heavy use, make sure to replace worn or damaged ones regularly or as needed.

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The following list contains additional hand tools that every jeweler should inspect or consider for replacement as needed:

Equipment and Parts

1. Plating Pens and Tips

Plating pens and tips are essential for precise rhodium application in a jeweler's daily tasks, especially for quick touch-ups and repairs. However, with heavy use, tips can wear down or become contaminated, affecting plating quality. Plating pens themselves can also start to wear down and have inconsistent conduction. We recommend keeping replacement tips on hand for a quick change and replacing pens as needed.

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2. Dust Collector Filters

Dust collector filters are essential for keeping a clean and safe workspace by capturing any foreign debris or particulates generated during engraving, laser welding, polishing, or finishing. Depending on your workflow, over time, these filters can become clogged and less effective — putting your safety at risk. It's advisable to replace any air or dust collector filters regularly for optimal air quality, safeguarding both your health and the quality of your work environment.

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3. Torch Tips

Torch tips are vital for precision heating and soldering, so it’s easy to see how these may show a faster turnaround. If you notice irregular flame patterns, decreased heat output, or signs of corrosion on your torch tips, it's time for a replacement. Our experts recommend keeping spare torch tips on hand to avoid any workflow disruptions and to ensure consistent performance in your soldering.

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4. Gravers

With regular use, gravers can dull or chip, impacting the quality and precision of your engraving work. To keep your engraving tools sharp and your lines precise, it's important to replace gravers as soon as they show signs of wear. We recommend having different graver shapes and sizes on hand to make your engraving work easier, and more efficient, and prevent any lost time should your supplies show any signs of damage.

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The following list contains additional parts that every jeweler should inspect or consider for replacement as needed:

Trust Stuller

Regularly inspecting and replacing your everyday tools and materials is crucial for maintaining the quality — and organization — of your work. When you prioritize keeping your tools and supplies in good condition, you guarantee yourself and your customers the best performance in every job you undertake. With Stuller’s vast selection of tools and supplies, any bench jeweler has access to everything they need to provide excellent service at every step.

To shop all of Stuller’s tools and supplies, visit Stuller.com/ToolsAndSupplies.